How do you budget for a vacation? There are many ways to budget and save money for your next big vacation or trip. Planning ahead by saving a little money every month will give you cash to spend and stop you from maxing out your credit cards at the island resort. Set up a vacation savings account, which you will not access for your regular expenses during the month. After a bit of saving, that dream vacation will be yours!
Get organized by writing down the particulars of your trip on a piece of paper: How many people are going? Where? When? How many days vacation are you taking? How much time is spent traveling to the location? If you are going out of country, do you have a passport? Is this an adventure vacation with sightseeing tours or a relaxation vacation? All of these questions should be answered first, before you start setting up a budget for your vacation.
Quick Tip – Consider traveling during off seasons when vacation spots offer discounts and great deals – it'll make your trip easier to afford.
The mode of transportation for your vacation can drive costs up. Airfare and cruise-line costs can be high. If at all possible, travel by car or train to your destination, which is often cheaper than taking a plane. Cruises or all-inclusive resorts can save you money, since food and lodging are included, and it's a relief to know the entire cost of the trip in advance.
Once you know what kind of vacation you're taking and the details are outlined, you need to come up with a budget for the entire trip. This can be done a number of ways, including: creating a budget per person per day, budget for the entire family per day or a grand total to spend for the vacation. The more preparation you do going into your trip, the less likely you will overspend during your trip.
When creating a budget to estimate your vacation costs, include the following items:
- Airfare, train or cruise cost -or- gas for car
- Rental car and gasoline
- Bridge tolls if driving
- Transportation to and from the airport if flying
- New clothes or luggage for trip
- Camera and photo development
- Hotel or motel accommodations
- Meals and snacks
- Phone and/or Internet costs
- Entertainment costs
- Souvenirs and gifts
- Pet-care expenses
Watch out for those little extra expenses that can occur, such as the expensive extra snacks and drinks at airports, room service, fancy clothes you buy just for the vacation and cheap souvenirs. Save your money for a good hotel, comfortable shoes and clothing, dinner out and a special souvenir to help remember your trip. Include money in your vacation budget for emergencies and unexpected expenditures.